• How did the rise of political parties change the original provisions set out in the Constitution?
Framer’s Discussed Methods for Presidential Election
• Election by Congress
• Framer’s supported this originally but then decided it would put the President “too much under the legislative thumb.”
• Popular Vote
• Most of the Framer’s opposed this because they did not think voters in such a large country would be able to learn enough about the candidates to make an informed decision.
• Electoral College
• According to the Constitution, the President and Vice President are chosen by a special body of presidential electors.
• Originally, these electors each cast two electoral votes, each for a different candidate. The candidate with the most votes would become President, and the candidate with the second highest total would become Vice President.
The Rise of Parties
• The electoral college is the group of people (electors) chosen from each State and the District of Columbia that formally selects the President and Vice President.
• With the rise of political parties in 1796, flaws began to be seen in the system.
•John Adams (Federalist) beat Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican) by three votes.
•Jefferson became John Adams’s Vice President
Election of 1800
• 2 defined parties (Federalists and Democratic-Republicans)
• Each party nominated presidential and vice presidential candidates and also nominated candidates to serve as presidential electors.
• Elector-candidates were picked with the understanding that they would vote for their party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees.
• Each of the 73 Democratic- Republicans who were electors voted for his party’s nominees: TJ and Aaron Burr producing a tie for presidency.
Ellection of 1800 marked the introductiion of three new
ellements into the process of sellecting President..
• 1) party nominations for the presidency and vice presidency
• 2) the nomination of candidates for presidential electors pledged to vote for their party’s presidential ticket
• 3) the automatic casting of the electoral votes in line with those pledges.
The 12th Amendment
• The 12th Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1804 following the election of 1800.
• The major change in the electoral college made by the amendment was that each elector would distinctly cast one electoral vote for President and one for Vice President.
The electoral system broke down in the election of 1800 because of the
a. rise of political parties.
b. 12th Amendment.
c. use of the national convention as a nominating device.
d. appearance of a presidential primary.
The Framers of the Constitution called for the President to be elected by
a. Congress. c. a body of electors.
b. a direct vote of the people. d. the State legislatures.
The major importance of the 12th Amendment is that it
a. did away with the electoral college system.
b. eliminated the possibility of a tie for the presidency.
c. required electors to pledge to vote for their party's chosen candidate.
d. made electors' votes automatic.
Answers: A / C / B